God sets the lonely in Families. Psalm 68:6
I have a heart for the lonely, and an even bigger heart for “family” or families. God has created a unique calling in my life to help families grow and be strengthened. But for right now, my biggest focus is to help my family be strengthened and grow and develop deeply into Christ’s love (and let’s be honest that’s a huge job with four kids under age four) and eventually to minister to others through my families strength and growth.
I love hearing how other people are ministering to families and doing the will of God by ministering to others through their family. I have a big heart for the family-less, and more specifically orphans, otherwise known today as foster kids. My youngest sister was adopted through foster care. My best friends are currently undergoing foster licensing to be able to foster some young kids in need of some love and hopefully to hopefully adopt.
My friend Courtnay, from college, and her husband (and their two young kids) are on a mission to serve and help foster kids as well. I recently, heard their story through Courtnay’s blog and was moved by their obedience. So…I asked Courtnay if I could feature her on my blog as a guest blogger.
Here is her story……..
No Guts No Glory by Courtnay Phillips
As a young girl, I would often cry myself to sleep, out of fear that Christ would return before I was able to become a mother. Even as a 3 year old, I wanted to experience motherhood more then anything. My mom would calm me by saying, “perhaps Jesus will allow you to be in charge of the Orphanage in Heaven when that day comes”. Immediately my heart would settle, and that brought me much joy. This ‘orphanage’ conversation lodged deep in my heart, never to be forgotten.
At the age of 17, I set off to Panama, on a missions trip, instantly became broken by the needs of the children. How could you not be moved when standing in such poverty and yet captivated by the pure beauty in the faces of these little ones? It was there that I met my husband, Tyler. Our entire journey together began while being surrounded by babies and children who were in need of homes… Homes that would ultimately shine JESUS.
So here we are, almost exactly 10 years later, Ty and I have been happily married for nearly 5 of those and have two beautiful children of our own. Just as life started to get comfy, the Lord called us to change it entirely (and nothing short of dramatic, if I might add). We knew it was THAT time, time to adopt! Starting down the path to adoption was scary, with many unknowns and fears. Pregnancy I understood. Pregnancy I had been through. Pregnancy I had survived (though I still don’t know how). But adoption? Ty and I both know that is not what we are called to in this season of life. The uneasy, messy, frightening, and yet obedient season, that is the one we are following hard after!
Once we had fully accepted this calling, the 50+ page applications, interviews and hours & hours of training began rolling. However, little did we know, that the Lord would throw a huge wrench in the mix and completely redirect our hearts and our passion.
While sitting in one of the classes one day, it took everything within me to keep from weeping loudly. I knew my heart was changing, but was my husbands? What if my desires were being called one direction and yet my husbands be pulled another? But, we all know that we serve a God who is so much bigger than that. We broke for lunch and my husband and I drove in complete silence.
Finally, we sat at the table, and the first thing out of Ty’s mouth were the exact words I was hoping to hear, “Court, I want to be a foster parent more then anything”.
Foster parents? What? That is even more scary then the original idea of adoption. You hear horror stories of foster parenting… So why in the world would we want to take on that beast of a job?! A job with unending stress, frustrating court dates, irresponsible birth parents and zero reward? Why you ask??? TO SHINE JESUS.
Not only in the little lives of these terribly broken children, but also in all the case workers, parents and judges, all of whom we would see almost weekly. Not a day has passed since then, that I have not completely broke down in tears. In the car, my house, the grocery store, wherever… I begin to literally weep for these people and for the huge opportunity we will have to share of Christ and to be a light. This will have great challenges, more then I am probably even prepared for… but who says it doesn’t have reward?! Shining Jesus IS reward!
So once again, we are neck deep with paperwork. When we originally set out to adopt, we were thinking one child, which a slim chance of taking two.
However, we are officially OFF OUR ROCKERS and feel that our house is to be a home were siblings don’t have to be split. Meaning that we are prepping our house with FOUR new beds. Feel free to call us crazy! When Christ calls you to something you have two choices, you can run or you can accept the calling knowing that in HIM we find strength.
Ty and I are choosing to not end up like Jonah, and instead are facing this giant head on!
We have approximately two months to get physically and emotionally ready for this life changing experience.
Our prayer requests are broken into several things: One, that the Lord will prepare the four of us for the good and the bad of what is to come. Two, that the Lord will equip us with all the right tools to walk these very broken and confused kids through this hard road. Three, that we would have endless oppotunity to share Jesus. And four, for the Lords provision, that our finances would be overflowing in order to make our house a home for these children.
Entering into this world of fostering, is going to bring more challenges then we know what to do with. But we are believing, that since the Lord so clearly called us, that He will also give us the ability to walk forward everyday and that somehow, every morning that we wake up, will have MORE strength and MORE patience then we know what to do with.
At times, I look at what we are trying to accomplish and I feel that it is nearly impossible. However, we all know that when you are serving Jesus, impossible is not in the dictionary. The crazy thing is that we have nothing but complete peace.
So here we go, the very beginning of this crazy, life changing journey. Where will it lead? No idea. But so grateful that Christ does and that there is no reason to fear. In Him we find our strength.
-The Phillips Four-
Please continue to pray for this family as they move out into the unknown.
To read or follow more of their journey please visit her blog The Phillips Four and More